When Ordering Cheesesteak In Philly, Be Ready To Answer 'Wit Or Witout?'

You haven't had a tried-and-true, pull over, and double park, kind of cheesesteak until you've visited Philadelphia. Eater claims that the best Philly cheesesteak joints you'll find are Steve's Prince of Steaks (Northeast Philly), Barry's Steaks in Roxborough, and Dalessandro's Steaks and Hoagies all located in various neighborhoods in the City of Brotherly Love. The people of Philly take their cheesesteaks very seriously, at times to the point of rivalry but it all began in the 1930s when brothers Pat and Harry Olivieri decided to take their hot dog stand to new heights.

Charleys tells us that the Olivieri brothers invented the cheesesteak near the Italian Market in South Philadelphia. They began by playing around with beef, onions, and a roll. Now, we know what you're thinking... No cheese? The original Philly cheesesteak started as just the Philly steak sandwich! It wasn't until a manager slapped some provolone on top in the 40s that the whole meal finally came together.

Despite the simplicity of the sandwich, there are some hard and fast rules when it comes to the Philly cheesesteak.

With or without? That is the question.

Culture Cheese Magazine says that, first and foremost, the classic sandwich must be served on a long roll like a hoagie roll, sub roll, or an amoroso roll. Next is that the steak must be made from ribeye beef which is sautéed. After that comes the cheese. You can order a whole lot of different kinds of cheeses including provolone, American, and Cheese Wiz! And then there's a whole slew of toppings including onions, and onions are something you need to take into consideration while ordering.

When you go to order a Philly cheesesteak, make sure you've decided exactly what you want on your sandwich. No hemming and hawing at the counter. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, if you want onions on your cheesesteak say "with" and if you have an allergy or don't need your breath to smell you'd say "without."  You want a cheesesteak with or without onions. 

All Recipes says that "wit or witout" is not misspeaking, that's just the Philadelphia accent. And if you're wondering, most people think that the only way to eat a Philly cheesesteak is "wit" onions because it was a part of the Olivieri brother's original ingredients and it adds a buttery, sweet flavor after they've been caramelized.